Friday, March 19, 2010

The mixed pickles of March


In between the spasms of horsework, housework (Sarah is back from her honeymoon, hallelujah!) and writing work, there’s always something out-of-the-ordinary to do around here..
Last night, in the quickly descending dusk, Wendy and I were out in the horse yards of Gerolstein, hand-sowing a hectare of new grass in a neat bit of teamwork, especially for a pair who’ve never done any such thing in their lives. Neighbour Tony had pulled his sharp harrows through the baked and sprayed-dead paddocks ... we raked and culled the mostly browned-off megaweeds into a huge firestack, and then I set off to scatter – with a good biblical motion .. a dozen kilos of pink and blue CRT seed over the said hectare and a bit of land. Wendy followed behind with a home-made rake concocted from the ride-on mower, pulling behind it a screen, and laden down with an old gate and a heavy tyre…
Our improvised system seems to have worked remarkably, although I was clearly a bit heavy on my sowing gestures, as we got through nearly thirty kilos of seed, before sinking gratefully into a hot shower, a djellaba and a bottle of something crisp, in front of the evening’s racing.
Now it’s a case of keeping all those paddocks damp for a week to allow a little germination: this will, I suppose, be the moment when the iffy Christchurch autumn chooses to blossom into burning days…
Watch this space for the first blades.

My other unusual event these last days has been a visit to NASDA. That stands for National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art.
Yes, I know. I retired years back. I don’t do the twentieth-to-21st century of theatre any more, just the 19th, but … principal Richard Marrett, an old pal, convinced me that inculcated skills never die and that it would be good for the pupils to be confronted by someone – and someome from little old Christchurch what’s more -- who had been and done what they are striving to be and do: so I went. And now I am all involved. So far, I’ve only chatted with the students (79 of them), and some of them with me, I’ve listened to sixteen of them in a ‘performance practice’ class, and I’ve talked a little with their principal teachers. But, when I return, I think a few ‘master classes’ with the more advanced and promising (and vocally interesting) young folk will be in order … and, well, we’ll see. If I enjoy them and they enjoy me, if I can inculcate professionalism into them as well as performing skills, then perhaps I still do have some thing to offer.
Another space to watch, but not till the southern spring.

PS It seems I am to become a NASDA-ic fixture if is to be believed

1 comment:

Jack Dowie said...

no Add as Friend or Send a Message on FB... and the umlaut makes you unfindable... just being a tease?